Do Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check?

Background checks are typically part of pre-employment verifications, and they are useful in determining whether or not an applicant is being truthful about their identity, if they are qualified for a job, or if there are any red flags in their general history.

When you are the one running background checks, you may be concerned about pending charges and whether they will be visible on any background report you request. Our article helps you further understand pending charges and when you can expect to see these on a background check report.

What Are Pending Charges?

Pending charges are charges that have been filed against an individual but have not yet been processed through the court system or evaluated by a judge. These charges may eventually be dismissed, reduced, changed, added to, or remain the same as the individual in question is convicted of the recommended charges.

Charges may remain ‘pending’ for a variety of reasons, including potential errors made by police during stops and searches, errors in the charges filed, additional required review of evidence, or questions about who the true perpetrator of the crime is. As these items are evaluated, the charge remains pending on a background check report until a conclusion is made, convictions are given, or the charges are dismissed.

Will a Background Check Show Pending Charges?

Whether or not a background check shows pending charges depends on a few things, such as the type of charge filed, where the background check report was requested, how recent the pending charges are, and specific state laws.

For instance, some states allow felony pending charges to appear on background checks, but other minor pending charges aren’t shown on a background report. Alternatively, some states allow all pending charges to be shown on a background check report, but arrests or other warrants aren’t allowed to be disclosed. It’s important that you research the specific laws of the state you are in to understand what might be legally disclosed in regard to pending charges.

You should also note that if pending charges are occurring in a different county or state, they may not appear on the background check report you pull in your specific state or county – you will need to access background check reports from all of the states that an individual has been in to get a complete report, something that requires a more thorough background check search.

Charges that have very recently been filed may take a few days to a few weeks to show up on the background check report, so if you are accessing an individual’s report the day after they have been charged, for example, you may not see these pending charges.

What Happens if a Pending Charge Is on My Background Report?

It’s important to be aware of what potential employers or other individuals might see on your background check report, as this helps you get an idea of what questions might be asked once your background report is viewed. You can check your own information with online research tools (we recommend this site) and be prepared to explain any convictions or pending charges on your background check.

For employers looking through background check reports, it’s important to evaluate whether or not the pending charges are something that would interfere with the person’s ability to do their job or their qualifications as a candidate. Employers should also keep an open mind, as many pending charges might be dropped depending on the specific situation.

Do Pending Charges Mean Someone Is Guilty?

Just because an individual has pending charges listed on their background check report doesn’t mean that they are guilty of any crime. Pending charges appear for a variety of reasons, and the individual may not end up facing convictions for any of the charges in their report depending on the evidence collected, circumstantial reviews, and any errors made by arresting officers.

Employers and other individuals evaluating background reports with pending charges on them shouldn’t automatically assume guilt, as pending charges are still being processed and might be dismissed completely. Instead, efforts should be made to review the pending charges and determine if they would be a serious issue for the candidate in the workplace, which may vary depending on the job, employer, and types of pending charges present.

Making Informed Decisions With a Background Check

When it comes to reviewing background checks, it’s important to pay attention to all aspects of an individual’s report, including any pending charges present on the report. Pending charges may indicate that the individual has legal issues that they need to pursue, and, depending on the type of charge, it may disqualify an individual from being hired before the charges are even confirmed as a conviction.

Deciding what to do when pending charges are present is very situation-specific, so make sure to thoroughly review any background check reports with this present so you can make an informed decision.

About Govind Dhiman 2041 Articles
Govind Dhiman is a young and passionate entrepreneur who hails from Haryana, India. He founded to help journalists in the world of journalism grow their presence and amplify their voice on social media. Govind believes that content marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to establish themselves as authorities in their niche market space by publishing quality content on a consistent basis with an eye towards key metrics like engagement and shares.

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